Bring back the Royal Yacht!
That is the call from Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans who has called for the recommissioning of the yacht to show that world that post Brexit, Britain is open for business.
The Royal Yacht Britannia first set sail in 1954 for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and was the 83rd such British Royal Yacht, a tradition dating back to Charles II in 1660. It was decommissioned under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997.
In nearly half a century of service, Britannia undertook 968 royal visits around the globe. In doing so, it played an integral role in forging Britain’s foreign and international trade policy.
Mr Evans signed a letter, floated by Jake Berry MP, in support of reintroducing HMY Britannia.
Nigel said: “In the 1990s, Britannia helped to secure roughly £3 billion of trade deals for the UK, and that is in less than a decade. It was more than just a symbolic vessel. It served a very real purpose and that purpose was quite clearly beneficial to Britain as a whole.
“Post-Brexit, securing trade deals around the globe is a priority and a matter which should be approached with relish. Recommissioning the Royal Yacht would be one of the best ways of facilitating these trade deals.
"It would be a gigantic advertisement that Britain is open for business. A new ship could help make new trade relationships, reinforce old ones, and generally show off what Britain has to offer.
“Britannia always drew in international businessmen and women as well as figureheads with national recognition, like Nelson Mandela or the President of the United States.
“Britain should be a globally trading power and the Royal Yacht should be the mouthpiece for this.
What is more, the ship could, and should, be built in British shipyards bringing further employment to our shores. This is an opportunity which should not be passed up.”
The Royal Yacht is now berthed at the historic Port of Leith in Edinburgh.
Owned by a charitable trust it is an award-winning visitor attraction and exclusive evening events venue.